Thursday, April 21, 2022

Last Call For The Road To Gilead Starts In Kentucky, Con't

A US district court judge has issued an injunction against Kentucky's wholly unconstitutional omnibus abortion law that went into effect last week without any of the statewide support structure that the law requires, meaning it was legally impossible to perform the procedure in the state. That has been remedied...for now.

A federal judge has issued a temporary order blocking Kentucky's sweeping new abortion law that forced the state's only two providers to stop offering the procedure.

The law, House Bill 3, put Kentucky in the national spotlight for becoming the first state to eliminate access to all abortion services since the law took effect April 13.

In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings granted a request from one of the state's two abortion providers for a temporary restraining order, finding that the law took effect immediately with no opportunity for clinics to comply with its many new rules.

"The plain language of HB 3 is clear that the entire law became effective and enforceable on April 13, 2022," Jennings' opinion said.

Jennings said her order is not a ruling on the constitutionality of HB 3; she will consider that argument at a hearing on whether to grant a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of HB 3 before her temporary order expires in 14 days.

Thursday's ruling was celebrated by Planned Parenthood and EMW Women's Surgical Center, the state's only abortion providers, though acknowledging it is only temporary.

"This is a win but it is only a first step," said Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood's six-state group that includes Kentucky "We're prepared to fight for our patients' right to basic health in court and to continue doing everything in our power (to) ensure abortion access is permanently secured in Kentucky."

Heather Gatnarek, a lawyer who represents EMW, said the ruling clears the way for providers to resume abortion services.

"Abortion remains legal and is once again available in Kentucky," said Gatnarek, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. "We will always fight to keep it that way here and across the country."

But Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican who is defending HB 3 in federal court, said he "disappointed that the court chose to temporarily halt enforcement of the law."

"This law is constitutional and we look forward to continuing to defend it," Cameron said.
I expect that like the Texas abortion bounty law, Cameron and Kentucky Republicans will be able to quickly procure a de facto shadow docket stay from the injunction until the Mississippi abortion case currently before SCOTUS is decided later this spring, so enjoy the final weeks of legalized abortion in the Bluegrass State and about two dozen other states. 
As I've said multiple times, I expect Roe and Casey to be rendered moot or nuked completely by July 4th, meaning your rights to your uterus will be 100% determined by where you live, and states will then rush to criminalize miscarriages, contraception, and sodomy heading into the 2023 SCOTUS term.
And as I've said before, I have little to no hope that removing abortion in half the US will move the needle at all in terms of how women vote in November. A majority of white women will still vote for their GOP captors, hoping they will be spared when the inevitable comes.
They will find out way too late that this will not be the case.
Many of the rest of us will have already been dealt with.

The road to Gilead will be a difficult one, and not all of us are going to make the journey, I suspect.

Ron's Gone Wrong, Con't

Jon Chait correctly names Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as an autocrat, pointing to his retaliation against Disney as the blueprint for his inevitable presidential run in 2024.

Here is how the New York Times reported DeSantis’s latest maneuver: “In a move widely seen as retaliation, Gov. Ron DeSantis asked Florida lawmakers on Tuesday to consider the ‘termination’ of self-governing privileges that Disney World has held in the Orlando area for 55 years.”

A move widely seen as retaliation is quite a way to put it, given that DeSantis himself has advertised the measure as retaliation. DeSantis said he was “fighting back” against Disney. (“Fighting back” is a synonym for retaliation.) First he floated a completely different provision targeting Disney (a social-media carve-out he had designed himself) before turning to the current version.

To make his intentions even more obvious, he appeared on Fox News to confess. Brian Kilmeade presented his intentions plainly: “You basically said, ‘Hey Disney, I don’t like your stance against this bill, this parents rights bill, so maybe we’ll go into revisit your special status in Florida.’ Do you want to expand on that?”

DeSantis did not deny this. Instead he made a case on the merits for the retaliation, before saying, “Six months ago, it would have been unthinkable” that Republicans would have taken this step.

The response from the conservative media has been more instructive. One foundation of DeSantis’s governing style is that he has calculated he does not need mainstream media at all. He can rely on support from party-controlled media to obtain sufficient public approval to meet his goals, and his non-party-controlled media as a punching bag.

The conservative media has raised almost no objection to DeSantis’s thuggery. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, Washington Examiner, and Washington Times — all of which would be publishing front-page editorials calling protesters into the streets if a Democrat had tried something like this — have no commentary on it. Republican legal mind Hugh Hewitt approves.

National Review has two stories, one approving, one disapproving. The latter is the only dissent I have seen in the conservative media. It is exceedingly mild. Its author, Charles C.W. Cooke, notes his overall support for DeSantis and the anti-gay measure, but chides him for “an ugly and ill-conceived mistake” they are undertaking “inexplicably,” given that the anti-gay law already passed.

Cooke calls the move a “tantrum,” one serving no purpose at all. But of course there is a point to it. The point is to send a message to any other corporation that they will be punished by the state if they oppose DeSantis on anything.

National Review’s opposing column supporting DeSantis’s retaliation makes that explicit: “These corporations assume that it’s still 2010, and that our genteel Marquess of Queensberry norms will prevent conservatives from retaliating against their many political campaigns and rhetorical posturing against us.” It seems the principle that the government should not coerce private firms into supporting the regime was devised by Marquess of Queensberry, who was probably a communist. In any case, it doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that the only conservative who publicly opposes DeSantis’s move is also the only one who doesn’t seem to be (or wish to be) aware of why he is doing it.

The impetus for DeSantis’s presidential candidacy is the belief that Trump is a liability, and a desire for a replacement who can marshal the same coalition more effectively. What DeSantis is building in Florida is his blueprint for the country.
"Trump, but without the baggage" was always the goal, and DeSantis is well on his way. Should he become president in 2024 along with a GOP-controlled Congress, the entire American experiment will be scheduled for demolition. Greg Sargent:

So let’s run a thought experiment. What might it look like if a President DeSantis took this view of the administrative state and decided to wield his power this way?

Donald Moynihan, an expert on the administrative state at Georgetown, says you can envision various scenarios. Such a president, he said, might use regulatory agencies staffed with right-thinking political employees (which Vance explicitly wants) to harass or investigate companies perceived as “culturally disloyal.”

Another possibility, Moynihan said, might be to change the tax status of liberal-leaning foundations. Those are already another favorite target of right-wing populists.

Faced with a president “who’s fully willing to use the powers of the administrative state,” Moynihan told me, such foundations might refrain from advocating for various causes or fund certain types of research, “because it’s not worth the potential risks.”

What if such a president were backed in this project by congressional leadership? Josh Chafetz, a Georgetown law professor who studies Congress, says you could see legislation targeted at offending companies, and even if it didn’t survive the courts, it could still function in a punitive way.

Those companies would sink large sums of money into litigating against such measures, even as Congress relied on taxpayer-funded lawyers on their side, Chafetz told me, meaning “the onus of the expense would fall on the companies, which would have a chilling effect.”

So a lot is at stake in how DeSantis’s war with Disney turns out. To glimpse the future, just look at what DeSantis is saying and doing right now. And given all the accolades he’s getting from the right, does anyone doubt that this could get a whole lot worse?
American government would become nothing more than a tool to punish grievances, real or imagined. Pick a group of those people and take everything from them, while making it clear that refusal to join in the pogrom means you are next. Pretty soon everyone wants to be on the winning side, because it's the only game in town.

Autocracy 101.

We're well on our way.

Slum Lord Millionaire

People forget that before his election last year as Virginia Governor, the GOP's Glenn Youngkin worked for the Carlyle Group, a huge private equity firm. When he washed out of the firm as CEO in 2020 after a string of bad investments, he turned to politics.

Now Glenn is making good on those bad bets by changing the rules to advantage him and his rich buddies as governor, and his latest obvious grift is vetoing a bipartisan slumlord prosecution bill, making it easier to condemn tenements, evict tenants, and sell the land to...huge private equity firms. 
Housing advocates say legislation passed by the General Assembly on a bipartisan vote would have helped rein in the most negligent landlords. Now they’re questioning Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s veto of the bill from Del. Cia Price (D-Newport News), which received no critical testimony in committee and was backed by both the Virginia Poverty Law Center and the Virginia Apartment and Management Association.

“This is creating a safe space in Virginia for slumlords,” Price says. “I don't know what the governor was thinking but that's what the end result will be.”

Part of the problem now is that cities and counties don’t have great tools at their disposal to deal with absentee landlords, according to Christie Marra, director of housing advocacy at the VPLC. Their main mode of enforcement is citing landlords for code violations, which, if they don’t address, can result in fines as low as $50.

“Some slumlords find that it's a better business model to pay the fine than to actually put money into the repairs,” Marra says.

If the conditions continue to deteriorate, localities’ only real option is to condemn the building, a move which quickly displaces tenants in a tight housing market.

Price’s bill would give localities the ability to take legal action against landlords who don’t address serious violations in a reasonable time frame, including “a fire hazard or serious threat to the life, health, or safety of tenants or occupants.” Judges could order the landlord to make these repairs.

“And if the landlord doesn't make the repairs, that landlord can be held in civil contempt and sent to jail until he finds a way to make them,” Marra says.

In his veto, Youngkin said the legislation “contains unnecessary and duplicative provisions” and suggested tenants should also bear responsibility for conditions: “Landlords and tenants both have responsibilities to maintain safe, decent, and sanitary housing.” Marra said he appeared to misunderstand the bill since it was “not duplicative.”

Price called Youngkin’s claims “factually inaccurate” and said she was surprised by the veto. She said no one from the governor’s office reached out to her about the bill.

“I definitely am not quiet about things that I see going wrong, especially as it pertains to voting rights and civil rights,” said Price, who is a member of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. “To think that this might be personal is just beyond my comprehension because the people that actually lose out are residents of the commonwealth who the governor swore to protect.”

Eleven House Republicans and five Senate Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill. Price will need to recruit a handful more in order to have the two-thirds majority in each chamber needed to override Youngkin’s veto. She said she had little hope Republicans would override any of Youngkin’s 26 vetoes – all bills passed with bipartisan support that were sponsored by Democrats.
So yes, it's a combination of petty obnoxiousness and future grifting. But hey, Republican.
Related Posts with Thumbnails